Elon Musk is committed to making Twitter a credible source for uncensored information. Since he considers the platform to be « somewhat of the digital town square, » it is important that there be both « the reality and perception of trust for a wide range of viewpoints. »
Elon Musk joins Real Time With Bill Maher
Elon Musk appeared on « Real Time With Bill Maher » on Friday as part of his goal to give interviews to representatives of various political views. During the segment, he discussed with the host his takeover of Twitter, freedom of speech, censorship, and the “woke mind virus.”
Twitter was on the brink of bankruptcy before Musk bought it
Musk’s $44 billion purchase of Twitter attracted a lot of attention. This is one of the hotly debated topics, and usually, it is covered negatively. During the interview, Maher asked a few questions, the answers to which allowed us to look a little deeper into Musk’s motivations and the state of Twitter before it was acquired by him.
The CEO of the company once again said that before he bought Twitter, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy. For this reason alone, Musk was forced to “take drastic action.” Although thousands of platform employees did lose their jobs, it was a necessary step, because otherwise, the company could have ceased to exist altogether. This means that Twitter would not have been able to provide jobs for the remaining 1,500 or so employees. Thanks to staff cuts and a number of other drastic measures, today Twitter is in a fairly stable position.
“I think things are reasonably stabilized right now. It was on the fast-track to bankruptcy after acquisition so I had to take drastic action, there was no choice,” Musk said.
Censorship on Twitter
Additionally, Musk mentioned censorship on the platform, saying, “My concern with Twitter was that it is somewhat of the digital town square and it’s important that there be both the reality and perception of trust for a wide range of viewpoints. And there was a lot of censorship going on, and I uncovered a lot of that with the Twitter Files, including a lot of government-driven censorship, which it seems that’s gotta be a constitutional violation, what was going on there.”
Woke mind virus
In addition to questions about Twitter, Maher also asked Musk about the “woke mind virus.” “I think we need to be very careful about anything that is anti-meritocratic and anything that results in the suppression of free speech,” Musk said to Maher. “So those are two of the aspects of the ‘woke mind virus’ that I think are very dangerous…. you can’t question things, even if the questioning is bad. Almost synonymous would be cancel culture. And obviously, people have tried to cancel you many times.”
Maher responded, “And it’s interesting, you and I are both in that little group of people, maybe it’s a bigger group now, who are called conservative who haven’t really changed. I don’t think of you as a conservative.”
Musk said he “at least,” thinks of himself “as a moderate.”
“I’ve spent a massive amount of my life energy building sustainable energy, electric vehicles and batteries and solar and stuff to help save the environment. It’s not exactly far-right,” he said.
According to Musk, the cause of the “woke mind virus” lies in the “indoctrination that’s happening in schools and universities.”
“The experience that we had in high school and college is not the experience that kids today are having, and hasn’t been for 10 years, maybe 20 years… Parents are generally not aware of what their kids are being taught, or what they’re not being taught,” Musk said. “Let me give you an example that a friend of mine told me. His daughters go to high school in the Bay Area and he was asking them, ‘Who are the first few presidents of the United States.’ They could name Washington, so he said, ‘What do you know about him?’ ‘That he was a slaveowner.’ ‘What else?’ ‘Nothing.’ Like okay, maybe you should know more than that. Slavery is obviously a horrific institution, but we should still know more about George Washington than that.”